This story was updated on December 2, 2010 to correct the language of publication used for the alleged US embassy cables.
The disclosure of alleged US diplomatic correspondence by WikiLeaks has rekindled the oft-debated question of who started the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway territory of South Ossetia. But, as always for this topic, the answer boils down to a matter of perspective.
In dispatches from Tbilisi reportedly sent during the initial stage of the five-day conflict, former US Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft maintained that the Georgians did not intend to start the conflict, but rather were dragged into the war.
The diplomat’s cables were published by Russian Reporter magazine, a Moscow-based weekly that says it received the documents after agreeing to a cooperation proposal brought by a Russian-speaking WikiLeaks volunteer. An interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in the magazine earlier this month.
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Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.